Now that his recent collaboration with Eric Kripke, Revolution, has premiered to big ratings, the J.J. Abrams high-concept train is headed to its next stop at NBC. And once there, the prolific television producer will be teaming with notable auteur Alfonso Cuarón to bring a new supernatural-tinged series to the peacock network.
As has now become the norm with any of the projects Abrams has attached his rather prominent name to, the details regarding the Cuarón team-up have been relegated to a brief, but tantalizing concept. In the proposed series, a young girl has been blessed/cursed with an extraordinary gift/set of powers that, according to the synopsis, will "come into their own in seven years." Adding to the plot will be the convict who has been freed from prison so that he may protect the girl from the mysterious faction determined to find her and prevent her powers from reaching their full potential.
Cuarón will direct and co-write the pilot with writer Mark Friedman (The Forgotten, Home of the Brave) and will serve as co-producer with Abrams if the series moves beyond the pilot stage. The chances of that happening are incredibly high, though, as NBC has placed a pilot production commitment on the series already – which can be a positive sign that a series order will follow the pilot.
At present, more precise details on the youngster's powers are unknown, but if they're extraordinary enough that some clandestine group is attempting to eradicate her, and their existence warrants a prophecy of sorts to have been written – complete with a timeline describing when her abilities will reach their zenith – then this series has all the hallmarks of a traditional, mythology-heavy J.J. Abrams show. And with a name like Cuarón involved, chances are good that fans will be treated to something not only wholly original, but visually enticing as well.
Cuarón established himself as a gifted storyteller with personal films like Y Tu Mamá También, and later surprised many people by sitting in the director's chair for the third installment of the Harry Potter franchise – proving those films could still reach a wide audience while embracing more mature themes and exploring a darker tone in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. But it was his 2006, sci-fi feature, Children of Men that solidified Cuarón as a director with true vision. Now, as fans anxiously await his latest, sure-to-be-breathtaking sci-fi film Gravity (which will hopefully have a trailer or at least a poster for us to feast our eyes upon before the end of the year) they can ponder just what an Alfonso Cuarón/J.J. Abrams television series will look like.
Though it will be Cuarón's first foray into American network television, the director has handled things on the small screen before. Cuarón helmed six episodes of the Mexican television series La Hora Marcada and directed Laura Dern and Diane Lane in an episode of Showtime's Fallen Angels, back in 1993.
High-concept series with Abrams' name attached seem to be popping up with surprising regularity these days, as news of Abrams' teaming with current Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman for new buddy cop series with an android twist on FOX was made public not long ago, leaving us all to wonder what else he's planning on bringing to television in the coming months.
Given NBC's current ratings drought, it's not surprising to see them returning to Abrams in the hopes that his name will bring devoted viewers in much the same way series like Lost, Fringe and CBS' Person of Interest have. Hot on the heels of Revolution's impressive premiere ratings, another high-concept genre series with recognizable names steering the ship is probably just what the network was hoping to score.
Screen Rant will have updates regarding Alfonso Cuarón and his new project with J.J. Abrams at NBC.